The Executive Vice Chairman, Tripple Gee & Company Plc, a Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed security printing firm, Chief Gbade Giwa, spoke to journalists on the company’s new product, Tru-DATA, that prevents identity theft and protects brands, among others. Goddy Egene presents the excerpts:
How would describe the level of electronic frauds and identity theft in Nigeria?
The level of electronic fraud and identity theft in Nigeria is assuming alarming proportion in relation to the growth of digital era in our day to day life. In addition to that is the falsification of university degree certificates, birth certificates, NYSC certificates and so on.
What do you think encourages people to embark on this kind of crime?
Generally speaking, criminals often weigh their chances of success before embarking on criminal activities. To discourage criminal attacks, efforts should be made on eliminating success rate of criminal attacks on identity theft.
How can we reduce or eliminate identity theft?
There are several ways, and one way which Tripple Gee & Company Plc has piloted, is to take the important data in the documents which are often subjects of attacks to higher level by encrypting this critical data on the sensitive documents. Such that if Mr. A. steals or fraudulently attacks the document of Mr. B, which is encrypted with tru-DATA software, Mr. A will be shamed at the point he wants to take value, when the encryption is now decrypted by tru-DATA, which will clearly show the face of Mr. B. In other words, if all issuers of sensitive documents such as universities, tertiary institutions, NYSC, or even national identity cards are encrypted with tru-DATA software, it will be impossible for identity thieves to get value as the true owners of the instrument will be revealed on the spot. This will go a long way to discourage the practice, reduce and eliminate ID theft.
Tripple Gee has introduced a product in that direction, tell us about this product?
Tripple Gee & Company Plc has spent the past 12 years to develop a product in this direction. It is called tru-DATA. What tru-DATA does is that it encrypts the true information on the instrument or those it intends to carry particularly the critical ones. What is more, the encryption can also carry the image of the true owner of the document. So that if Mr. Y steals Mr. Z’s certificate, it is only Mr. Z’s picture that will pop up when our reader app – which can be downloaded from Goggle Play Store for free- is used to scan the document.
This product is a revolutionary product and unique. It also serves to protect brands of product, for example, it can be used to encrypt the authenticity of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) by encrypting and confirming the genuineness of the product, expiry dates and other information you may wish the product to carry. This verification is possible on the spot. You do not need any data or internet connection to get instant result. It is highly recommended for those interested in protecting their products or do product verification.
Are there no similar products already in the market. What makes this product unique?
To the best of my knowledge as at today, there are no similar products of the same capacity in the market. tru-DATA has 172 times greater capacity than HD Barcode regular 2D barcode. It can also absorb 10 pages of A4 paper; it can take images and you can even encrypt zip files. These qualities make this product unique as at today. Tripple Gee will continue to upgrade the product from time to time.
Generally how will you rate the security documents printing industry in Nigeria?
Security print industry in Nigeria is only appreciated by a few who know the importance of security and perhaps, that is why some organisations do not appreciate the fact that even their letter heads and invoices are prone to attack by fraudsters. The level of awareness can be better. We do not need to wait until there are problems when your letter heads have been forged and used to defraud your customers.
Tripple Gee appears to the only security-printing company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. How has experience been?
Tripple Gee & Company Plc was one of the first indigenous security printers accredited by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Tripple Gee has also been a member of International Security Printers Association for over 20 years. It is not surprising therefore, that we are the only one in this category currently listed in the NSE. Our experience over the years has been good and we are glad to say that we have complied with all the post listing requirements of the NSE.
What are some of the challenges you face as an indigenous company?
Challenges are there for every organisation to pass through whether indigenous or foreign; though indigenous companies may have greater challenges. Having been in establishment for over 40 years, we can confidently say, we are here to stay.
How can the government assist to improve the performance of companies like yours?
The federal government has started well by passing the Local Content Law, which enables certain jobs in oil and gas industry to be given to indigenous companies. The problem areas are with the various government agencies which have refused to change their ways. For example, I cannot see the reason why Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is still printing our general election papers abroad. I would like to see INEC print all election papers in Nigeria just as CBN has directed that all cheques should be printed locally. This will improve and boost our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and local capacities.
What is you general message to all your stakeholders, customers and shareholders in particular?
My message to all our stakeholders is that better days are ahead and the new initiative embarked upon by the company, which are already yielding results will propel our company to greater heights.